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  1. #1
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    Donate older PCs with light version of Linux distro

    Local Salvation, etc., charities accept working PCs as donations. Wish to accomplish two (2) goals. Introduce Linux to new users while also securely wipe hard drive clean. Plan to obtain suggested CD live/lnstall distro from OSDisc.com ($2.95), run live demo and if satisfied PC/distro is compatible, click install. The charity gets to verify they've received a working PC and are not being used for disposal convenience/cost.

    The install procedure implies my HDD is wiped clean of my WinOS and all its data.

    Please comment on my plan's HDD security and recommend best distro for least terrifying User experience.

    I intend to include my distro disk with the PC as a means for the successful, newly converted User to freely introduce the live demo disc to interested peers.

    I'd like to also include an available User Guide (pdf) to assist in the User's initial first steps and his/her continued committment.

  2. #2
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    It's an excellent idea. I am partial to Linux Mint, now on 17.2, easy to navigate for those coming from Windows. Their site has a user manual available.
    www.linuxmint.com
    http://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php

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  4. #3
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    There is no need to buy a Linux disc, download the ISO image and burn it yourself.

    To ensure there is no data on your disk, download the DBAN ISO, burn it to CD, boot and perform a single pass on the disk - this will not be quick. Now you can install Linux.

    cheers, Paul

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    Fascist Nation (2016-02-03),wenkoe (2016-02-03)

  6. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    I am partial to Linux Mint, now on 17.2
    [pedant]
    I think you'll find the latest sub-version is 17.3...
    [/pedant]
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  7. #5
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    Donate older PC's.........

    Paul T.
    Thx for for the link. Will download and add to my utilities collection.

    Can you further help by commenting on my proposed security solution, incurred as I install Linux from a live demo CD and select "install/create single partition", and cautions everything regarding the installed OS (Win 7,eg), will be a goner, or some such caveat. If this simpler approach is viable, it will more conveniently lend itself to conversion into a community donation project.

    I cringe at the thought of perfectly good/operable PC's dismantled for salvage. Which is why I have this collection of "oldies but goodies" PC's awaiting useful disposal.

    Hopefully you or others reading my thread/reply can provide encouraging further info.

    wenkoe

  8. #6
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    I have a few Notebooks and couple of Desktops I've saved from being thrown away and usually can get the OS cleaned up and functioning. I do have a couple of Notebooks I ended up putting Linux Mint on but on clean HDDs due to failure and replacement. The warning is no problem as I did want the drive to be wiped first. I plan to check the suggested program in the future but so far have been using GPARTED to delete ALL partitions on a drive including the System Reserved that Windows can't handle. GPARTED is a LiveCD running a version of Linux and can even be used to partition a drive larger the 32GB as FAT32, Windows can't even though it will work with such drives. The advantage of FAT32 at times is Mac OS X can work with it, NTFS is not as well supported.

  9. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Berton
    Does Gparted now have the option to overwrite an entire HDD? I just do not recall that function if it exists and the OP was worried about secyrity.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Berton
    Does Gparted now have the option to overwrite an entire HDD? I just do not recall that function if it exists and the OP was worried about secyrity.
    I've not looked for that feature but use it to first delete all partitions then create as needed followed by formatting. I'd think at that point there's nothing left to be found by anyone except maybe the law enforcement forensic software.

  11. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    If you do a single pass wipe of zeros booted from DBAN booted up (or booted on another system in which the target drive is present as a secondary drive), then not even the NSA can recover what was on the drive when finished. As Paul said it takes a while (usually 4 hours) to write to the hard drive surface all the way across.

    I don't think there is anything else to do, unless you have stuff that came with the PCs or components you want to gather and include.
    Install whatever distro of Linux you like. As Paul said, its free. As Berton said, I too prefer Linux Mint.

    Or leave the drive empty though I will admit some charities won't take non-booting systems. I always figured someone else could donate their time whipping a PC into shape.

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    The only time I donated a PC to a charity, I had DBANd it and installed Linux (Mint as I remember). However, they said that they would do the same as they didn't want any PC which just might have malware on it.

    Though most will be clean of malware, this cannot be guaranteed so I would hope that charities would start from bare bones with donated PCs.

    However, this is from a population of one.

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  15. #11
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I agree entirely - the charity "would not know where the PC has been", so must treat the hard drive as potentially infected - however honest-looking was the donor!

    What's to say the charity's favourite Linux distro was Mint, anyway? They may prefer Zorin, or Linux Lite, or...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    5 Star Lounger
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    Zorin. I was trying to remember that distro. Tries its best to mimic various Windows interfaces including XP. Familiarity to reduce initial interface discrepancies. I think that is a great idea if it gets people to try Linux out.

  18. #13
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    Thank you Batcher and your fellow responders. From the technical end I have sufficient input to proceed on my own.

    Your reply alerted me to research my project on the Charity/Ultimate recipient's demographics/needs, with further research concentration on niche Donator's disposable/but-0perable hardware, namely older desktops and laptops. Smart phones, tablets and notebooks still command a 'for sale' disposal.

    My primary mission is to further the use of Linux. Microsoft is getting too despotic for me; Apple too niche/rich for me. Linux should promote/market itself as the 'tea party OS'.

    Again, thanks to all.

    wenkoe

  19. #14
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    You mean the mad right wing OS you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy?

    cheers, Paul

  20. #15
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    @wenkoe:

    I have good experiences with Linux Lite; suggest you give it a try. It brings everything a new computer user might want along like LibreOffice, VLC and 'my kind of customer' (the computer illiterate ones) like the menu system just fine.

    Linux Mint has been too much of a workload on some older machines, it worked but was really sluggish.

    Good luck t you.
    Eike J Heinze
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    Rick Corbett (2016-02-09)

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